Trade winds are starting to blow around the NBA landscape, with various organizations on the lookout for players who might bolster their respective lineups. The Cleveland Cavaliers are among these teams, and ESPN’s Bobby Marks recently suggested the Cavs are mulling whether or not to make a run at Andre Drummond, who has spent his entire eight-year career with the Detroit Pistons.
Drummond, now 26 years of age, has a $28.8 million player option for next season that he can turn down to become a free agent. The New York native has previously stated that he would like to end his career in Detroit, but the Pistons have reportedly engaged in “serious” talks with interested teams. He has heard his name tossed about in the rumor mill, but he’s taking it all in stride, just as he has in the past:
“I’ve been dealing with this since the year I signed my contract so the trade rumors will always come around, so this is another year for me,” Drummond said, via ESPN. “It’s always that time of year around January where trade talks come. Nothing’s happened. Obviously, the talks have started, so these questions will start to come. I’ve been looking forward to them coming, but for me, I’m just going to continue to play the game I play, play here in Detroit where I love to be, and whatever happens, happens.”
So … should the Cavs make a move for Andre Drummond?
If the Cavs are able, they should at least consider trying to make a move for Drummond, as he’s one of the best big men in today’s game and could help out in the development of young guards Collin Sexton and Darius Garland as a force in the middle on both ends. As a testament to his prowess in the paint, he’s currently leading the NBA in rebounds with a whopping 15.9 per game. His 4.3 offensive boards per outing are also first in the league, and he’s ninth in blocked shots (1.9).
Drummond’s numbers are up this season. In his 35 appearances with the Pistons (34 starts), he has racked up averages of 17.4 points on 52.5 percent shooting from the field, 15.9 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 2.0 steals and 1.9 blocks in 33.6 minutes per game. He’s also shooting free throws at an improved rate (up from 59.0 percent last season to 62.9 in this campaign).
A number of teams have a level of interest in trading for Drummond, which could drive up the price for his services. The Cavs, who are struggling through a rebuild under first-year head coach John Beilein, would likely have to part with a key asset or two to make a trade. Would Cleveland be willing to do that for a player who might bolt after this season? The franchise would likely have to present the big man with a max contract offer, or at least close to one, to get him to stay.
Still, this could be worth it as the Cavs struggle through their rebuild. The franchise has been making headlines for the wrong reasons as of late, as rumors of Kevin Love being unhappy have begun to surface. Love signed a four-year, $120 extension with Cleveland in July 2018, and he’s one of the last remaining vestiges of the team’s championship run in 2016.
The Pistons almost certainly wouldn’t have any interest in getting Love back in a Drummond trade, but the Cavs have a good amount of draft capital and young players at their disposal for a potential trade. Trading Love elsewhere and then acquiring a younger player in Drummond and then re-signing him could help the rebuild move forward.
For now, we’ll have to wait to see which way the wind blows with Andre Drummond. Will he ride off into a Detroit sunset, or will he find a new home?